Sunshine Coast

Trip Start Aug 15, 2008
Trip End Aug 14, 2009

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Friday, May 8, 2009

7th May - Sunshine Coast

After The Australian Zoo we again headed up the coast to Noosa Heads. I thought I would take the scenic route through interesting sounding towns like Mooloolah & Bli Bli. This proved to be more difficult than I thought, as the sign posts very rarely mention the next major town, just the name of the local road. However, I did get to talk to many more local Australians by having to ask directions.

Noosa Heads is a glorious little beach resort, even though it thinks it's in the trendy South of France, judging by the prices. It has only one road, Hastings St, which is full of designer boutiques & coffee shops where we sipped our cappuccinos & watched the world stroll by.
We then had our sandwich lunch in the picnic area at Noosa Spit & watched owners let their pet dogs chase the wild turkeys up trees.
We couldn't afford to stay or eat in Noosa Heads, so we stayed just up the road in Noosaville which was nearly as nice but not so expensive.

Tin Can Bay

Our next port of call was the quaint Tin Can Bay, who's main claim to fame is that every morning at 8:00, two male Humped Back Dolphins come up to the slipway & are fed fish by a queue of eager visitors.
I asked how the dolphins are always on time; apparently they know that when the 8:00 ferry docks, it's time for breakfast.
On the morning we went, a female dolphin came along for the free feast, but she was soon chased off by the dominant male (that's my boy). These light grey Humped Back Dolphins are an endangered species as they can only live inshore & their natural habitat is disappearing, being overrun with marinas - very sad.

Our motel owner recommended dinner at the "Tin Can Bay Country Club" where they serve a reasonable steak & some reasonably priced wine. We were lucky because there was a live band that night - one singer/guitarist singing his heart out to a backing tape, while his audience totally ignored him, although they did applaud him heartily when he finished.
Being a Country Club, the dress was formal, the minimum standard being shorts & boots, but NO HATS to be worn at the table.

We made our way to Hervey Bay via Maryborough, one of oldest towns in Queensland which still has many of the original 1800's wooden buildings standing.
Mary Poppin's author, PL Travers was born here, so there is a statue of Mary Poppins outside his old house & a plethora of Mary Poppins souvenirs on sale everywhere.
If your name is Mary (or some derivative of Mary) you can join the world-wide "Proud Mary Association" at the Visitors Info Centre & even view their list of famous "Marys" throughout history - big deal !

Hervey Bay
Hervey Bay is another pleasant coastal town. We stayed at one of oldest YHA Hostels in Oz, which was appropriate as we were the probably the oldest backpackers in Oz. The hostel was like being in a jungle retreat with palm trees & little waterfalls, we even stayed in a log cabin. They have a BBQ each night & a bar, both reasonably priced, so we ate in the dining room where small groups of backpackers ate their food & ignored one other, in their own language.
The next night we indulged ourselves at the superb "Pier Restaurant" where I had Crocodile steak- it tasted like chicken, but a bit chewier.
I seem to be sampling the indigenous animals in each continent I visit (Alligator, Llama, Alpaca, Guinea Pig, Kangaroo & now Crocodile). I haven't yet seen cuddly Koala Bear on the menu but I live in hope!

Our next stop, after driving through miles of waving sugar cane fields, was Bundaberg (or Bundy), a forgettable town, known only for its rum distillery which has been distilling the amber nectar since 1884. We went on the distillery tour but before we were whizzed around the plant, we had to leave anything containing a battery in a locker because of the danger of sparking & igniting alcohol fumes. That included watches, cameras (sorry, no pics), car keys & even hearing aids - it was tough if you had heart pacemaker. They keep millions of bottles of rum in bonded warehouses which they protect with an 8 ft high electrified fence (no danger of a spark from that, I suppose ?)
The most impressive area was the "Molasses Well" holding 10 million litres of thick dark molasses, which is the by-product of the sugar distillery next door & the basic ingredient of rum.
We ended up having a "free" sample of their products. I had their smooth rum which was quite nice but unfortunately, still tasted like rum.

Agnes Waters & Town of 1770

Beautiful Agnes Waters is a one-horse town comprising a small group of shops, gas station, pretty beach & a bar full of backpackers. Just up the road is "Town of 1770" (yes - that's its name, it's where Captain James Cook first set foot in Queensland in 1770). Town of 1770 must be a no-horse town as it's only got a cafe & a marina. The cruises to the Reef Islands leave from there but as we weren't going on a cruise, we decided to move straight on to Rockhampton.
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holly08121 on

P Smith
As usual very interesting almost feel like I'm there! (wish I was!) Glad my name isn't Mary!! Didn't know an Aussi wrote it. Seems rather good for an Aus! (or was he english?) Rather have a croc bag than eat it!

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